Domenic “Rick” F. Trunfio

Adjunct Professor

Adjunct Professor

Rick Trunfio recently completed a 30-year career in public service as a prosecutor. He was the First Chief Assistant District Attorney for the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office in Syracuse where he ran the day-to-day operations of the office for 19 years. He previously served as chief of the Homicide Bureau and specialized in the investigation of all suspicious infant deaths and the prosecution of child homicide cases and cold cases. His homicide experience also includes prosecuting death penalty cases and serial killers. He also served as Bureau Chief of the Special Victims Bureau where he specialized in the investigation and prosecution of child sexual and physical abuse cases, sexual assaults against adults, and domestic violence. He coordinated the G.I.V.E. Program, a collaborative initiative of local state and federal law enforcement whose mission is to create and implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce gun and gang violence and narcotics trafficking. Currently, he is a consultant to several state and local agencies, governmental offices, and institutes through his firm, Justice Strategies Consulting, LLC.

Trunfio served on the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner’s Committee on the Revision of Sexual Offense Laws which helped to change and re-write sex crimes statutes and related portions of the NYS Penal Law and Criminal Procedure Law. He was invited to testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice and has testified before the New York State Senate Committee on Children & Families. He helped create the Committee on the Fair and Ethical Administration of Justice, a respected milestone initiative of District Attorney’s Association of New York State, where he continues to serve as a member of the Best Practices Committee, the Mutual Assistance Committee, and the Ethics Guidance Committee. He also co-chairs the Forensic Science Committee.

Currently, Trunfio is an Adjunct Professor at the College of Law where he teaches Advanced Trial Practice and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and he continues to teach and present at training conferences across the country on topics which include child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, investigating and prosecuting homicides, and cold case investigations. He also lectures on ethics and professional responsibility, crisis management and executive leadership, media relations, and advanced trial skills, including jury selection, examination of witnesses, opening statements and closing arguments. He re-wrote and edited a chapter in a national publication on prosecuting child abuse and has contributed to other publications on the topics of criminal law and prosecutorial ethics. He is frequently invited to lecture at colleges and universities throughout New York State.

Trunfio was a founding a member of the local Child Abuse Response Team and Child Death Review Team and previously co-chaired the local Domestic & Sexual Violence Coalition. He was chairperson of the task force which created the Abused Persons Unit, a single, specialized unit consisting of detectives from different local police departments who are responsible for investigating all sex crimes and child abuse cases county-wide. He chaired the Evidence Collection/Crime Scene Analysis Task Force in Onondaga County and was one of the few non-scientists who sat on the New York State Crime Laboratory Advisory Committee. He also created and co-chaired the Onondaga County Cold-Case Task Force.

Trunfio received his law degree from Temple University School of Law and his bachelor’s degree at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He was a career prosecutor, having worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and as a Naval Officer in the United States Navy JAG Corps, where he received the Navy Commendation Medal.

          In 1995, he received the U.S. Department of Justice Award for Public Service. He was presented with the 1997 Sheriff John Harris Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication to the Law Enforcement Community. In 1998, Trunfio, and the Special Victims Bureau which he supervised, received the Spirit of Justice Awardby the U.S. Department of Justice and The Central New York Crime Victims’ Rights Coalition. He was the recipient of the Sister Mary Vera Award in 2000, which was presented by Vera House in recognition of his fight against domestic violence. In 2002, he was awarded a Special Recognition for Service to the Community by the Rape Crisis Center of Syracuse. The P&C Division of the Penn Traffic Company presented him with the 1st Annual Caring for Children Award in 2003. In 2010, the New York State District Attorney’s Association gave Trunfio the Robert M. Morgenthau Award in recognition of his professional accomplishments, integrity, and commitment to justice. The New York Prosecutor’s Training Institute presented him with theProsecutor of the Year Award for Trial Advocacy in 2012.

         Trunfio has been actively involved in the local community and has volunteered with numerous organizations. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Vera House Inc. and the Rape Crisis Center and played an active role in the consolidation of those two organizations. He is also a former board member of the Prevention Network and recently worked on several committees, task forces and collaborative initiatives to improve community-police relations and to reform or reimagine policing. He is a self-described news junkie and in his free time, he can be found either at the gym, working in his yard or on some field or court, coaching kids in a variety of sports.


  • Temple University
    School of Law
    J.D. 1984
  • University of Massachusetts
    B.A. 1981